I have had the pleasure of knowing Nicole DeBenedictis from the time my mother was admitted in August, 2013 to Mom’s passing in December. Words cannot describe the compassionate care and genuine love that Nicole and the staff express to their patients. That care was most evident to my mother, Iris, as she slowly succumbed to her cancer. Nicole went above and beyond to make Mom comfortable. Nicole works in the rehab unit at this center that also houses an Alzheimer’s and long-term care unit. The patients under her care are short-term patients, but Nicole was influential in insisting that Mom stay on her floor, which was helpful since even the smallest changes were difficult for her. Mom was a 55-year veteran of nursing and made it known to all who would listen to her that she was proud of her profession. It seemed Nicole took this to heart. The overall acts of kindness are too many to mention, but I will remember how Nicole made sure that Mom had lactose-free food and made sure that her needs were met. Her appearance at Mom’s wake on her day off to express her condolences was jaw-dropping for my family and me.
—Nominated by Gregory Leschishin